Daily Archives: December 28, 2011

Fast Start Enough as Souderton Girls Win Wissahickon Holiday Basketball Tournament over Gwynedd-Mercy Academy 50-38

Caitlyn Steinly, Carley Kendall, Liz Mower, and Gabby McAndrews with championship plaque

Libby Wetzler (21) passes inside to Carley Kendall (14)

(Ambler) Souderton separated from Gwynedd-Mercy Academy with a run of eleven unanswered points in the first quarter and went on to capture the girls division of the Wissahickon Holiday Basketball Tournament, 50-38, on Wednesday at Wissahickon High School.

Indian point guard Bianca Picard (35 points in the two-game tournament) was the tourney MVP. Teammates Libby Wetzler and Liz Mower made the All-Tourney team.

Souderton (3-2) jumped on the Monarchs (5-7) early and held a 13-2 lead after six minutes. GW Academy could never get closer than six points (19-13) the rest of the way.

The Indians extended the lead to 37-24 early in the fourth quarter before a Monarch 12-6 run (Taylor Sweeney had two free throws and a three) made it a seven-point game (43-36) with 1:43 left.  Souderton wisely kept the ball in Bianca Picard’s hands the rest of the way.  The sophomore made seven of nine free throws to seal the championship for the Indians.

First quarter Souderton defense.

Souderton’s dominance inside keyed the run of eleven straight early on.  Three of the five baskets were after offensive rebounds by Allison Gallagher (2) and one by Libby Wetzler.

The Monarchs struggled to run organized offense against the trapping and pressing Indians.  All that work to get good shots did a number on the GW Academy shooting accuracy.

High scoring Caroline Shimrock drew denial defense from a number of Souderton players including Carley Kendall.

The Indians were efficient enough to run an organized offense on most possessions and turned up more high percentage shots than the Monarchs, especially around the basket.  Credit point guard Bianca Picard for a lot of that smoothness.

Libby Wetzler led all scorers with fourteen points including ten in the decisive first half.  Bianca Picard added twelve.

Taylor Sweeney paced GW with eleven while the Indian defense held high-scoring Caroline Shimrock to only six points.

Bianca Picard (25) and Allison Gallagher (3) apply pressure

The Dome at Wissahickon High School is one of the best basketball sites I have been in.  The lighting, seating, and floor are all high quality.

The Souderton/Gwynedd Mercy Academy girls game was easily the quietest game I have been to this year.  There was a decent crowd on hand.  Maybe they were just unusually polite??

Souderton box score

Gwynedd-Mercy Academy box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Bianca Picard (Tourney MVP)

Liz Mower (All-Tourney)

Carley Kendall shoots

Christa Giordano (11) & Katie OConnor (10)

Caroline Shimrock shoots – Libby Wetzler defends

Erin Casey

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Palisades Routs Quakertown 49-26 With Strong Second Half in Girls Basketball Christmas Tourney

Ashlee Ruzicka (15) tries to deny pass to Joey Noonan.

Kirby Funt (41) fouls Brittany Taylor (33)

(Quakertown) Winless Palisades blew open a close game in the second half and decisively defeated Quakertown, 49-26, in the opening round of the Quakertown Christmas Girls Basketball Tourney on a rainy Tuesday night.

This game was hardly decided four minutes into the third quarter when two Ashlee Ruzicka free throws cut the Pirate advantage to, 25-21.

However, the next seven minutes stretching into the fourth period did in the Panthers.  It sure didn’t help them to have three of their best players (Brittany Taylor, Katie Kelsall, and Monica Ervin) foul out during this segment.  The loss of these players was most noticeable on defense.

It took Palisades (1-5) twenty minutes to get their first 25 points.  Over the next seven minutes they poured in 16 points turning this game into a 41-22 blowout with just three minutes left.

Samantha Sharo tries to shoot over Monica Ervin (54)

During the memorable run of Pirate scoring there was a lot to like for the folks from Kintnerville.  The Panthers overplayed 6-2 Joey Noonan on an inbounds play and that left Emily Odle all alone for an easy layup.  Joey was on the layup end of nice passes from Katie Salva and Kirby Funt.  Lizzie Sessinger made a layup just before the end of the 3rd quarter fed nicely by Marylee Hendricks.

When all this dust cleared Palisades had put together a 16-1 run to build up a 41-23 spread.  The reserves from both squads carried the action the rest of the way to a 49-26 final.

Sophomore Joey Noonan led all scorers with fourteen points.  Samantha Sharo added twelve.

Brittany Taylor topped Quakertown with seven points despite fouling out with 4:26 to go in the third period.

Palisades relentlessly pressured/trapped the Quakertown guards after they crossed half-court.  Turnovers of all flavors resulted.  Most of the violations were for traveling.  I was at a game recently where such a violation set off the student section chanting, “Where you going!”

Ashlee Ruzicka (15) fouls Joey Noonan (25)

Down the other end the Pirates were very intent on getting the ball inside to Joey Noonan.  Credit undersized Ashlee Ruzicka for keeping Joey from doing too much damage.

The defense that worked the best for Quakertown (1-5) was a zone that they used in the second quarter.  Denied the inside the Pirates struggled from the outside.  Quakertown was able to turn a 16-6 deficit early in the 2nd quarter into a much more manageable 21-19 deficit at halftime.

The Panthers hit 9-of-12 free throws during that second quarter.

Freshman Marylee Hendricks injured a knee at the start of the final quarter and came back later on crutches with an icepack on her knee.

Quakertown has one senior (Katie Kelsall) while Palisades has two (Amberli Delimit & Kirby Funt).

I was surprised to see another photographer roaming around taking pictures of players DURING the National Anthem.  Maybe this game was nationally televised?

Palisades box score

Quakertown box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Joey Noonan rebounds

Emily Odle

Samantha Sharo

Katie Kelsall (50) & Kate Salva (23)

Joey Noonan

Becca Robison

Ashlee Ruzicka defends

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